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Royal memorial cancelled over requests for ‘donations’


A letter sent out over the signature of the Koh Phangan district chief asked for donations of 10,000 baht to be transferred to his account. (Photo by Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: The Koh Phangan district chief has called off a memorial event for King Bhumibol after he learned that donations had been solicited from businesses without his knowledge.

Krirkkrai Songthani, the district chief on the tourist island famous for its full-moon party, discovered that his approval of plans to hold the event on Dec 10 had been cited as the reason to seek donations ranging from 10,000 to 100,000 baht from businesses.

He said the project was initiated by Kathawut Thongchan, deputy chairman of the village fund for Moo 6 in tambon Koh Phangan. Mr Kathawut told district officials that 2 million baht in financial support had already been secured for the project.

Mr Kathawut then sought approval at a district office meeting and appointed a committee to organise the event. He later asked for an account to be opened with a bank and asked Mr Krirkkrai to sign a document, which the district chief thought would be sent to supporters.

“However, I learned that the document was copied and sent to business enterprises to ask for donations. I then realised that there was no money as Mr Kathawut had claimed earlier so I cancelled the event,” Mr Krirkkrai said.

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